A little ramble on why eating shouldn’t be a competition

Maybe it’s because I’ve lived in countries where people are starving to death in the street. Maybe it’s simply because I have a healthy respect for food. Either way, I detest eating competitions. They make me feel a bit… ashamed.

When there are people in the world with not enough to eat, it feels so wrong to watch people shoving food into their mouths as fast as they can, beyond the point of fullness, sometimes until they are physically ill, for no other purpose than to “win” a competition.

Am I the only one who feels this way?

I really don’t mean to be a wet blanket. I’ve just seen two blog posts in the last week about eating competitions here in Sydney: one at El Loco (don’t get me started on Justin Hemmes) and one at The Dip @ Goodgod. One blogger points out that eating competitions are probably not a great idea because of rising obesity rates and the environmental cost of food, but my discomfort comes from something beyond these reasons. It’s not even greed. It’s something that I can’t quite put into words.

But, to end on a happy note, look at the view I had at the school at which I taught in Ladakh. They’re the Himalayas there in the background. Lunch at 15,000 feet! That’s spiced potatoes served with rice (carb-loading!) washed down with yak butter tea.

The environment is so fragile in Ladakh that everything is used, reused, recycled, and treated with respect and care. I don’t think they’d get eating competitions either…

Teachers’ lunch @ Manjushri Lamdon Model School, Sakti, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India

5 thoughts on “A little ramble on why eating shouldn’t be a competition

  1. I agree. It’s like burning money in front of homeless people. insulting / disrespectful to the most basic human needs.

    shows a lack of appreciation for the food we eat and the animals that might have died to go in to it! Plus, it can’t be that tasty if one is just shoving it into one’s gob like that. Although I *could* see myself being a contender for World Champion Dumpling Eater…. xxx

    • It’s nice to know I’m not alone! I think I’d give you a run for your money with the dumpling championship though. One night let’s go to Ashfield and eat dumplings, at a relaxed pace, and savour every mouthful, and the winner is the person who manages to order exactly the right amount and not waste any. 🙂

  2. Perhaps a “being charitable” competition has greater purpose.
    Imagine being valued for the amount of effort someone puts into helping people in need.
    Now that’s a competition I could stomach.

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